Elkhart man sentenced for assaulting girlfriend, delivering drugs

CASSOPOLIS — A man who prosecutors said had a goal to become a large-scale marijuana dealer in the state of Michigan has been sentenced to a stint in Cass County Jail.

At sentencing Friday morning, Cass County Circuit Court Judge Mark Herman sentenced Jason Allen Myers, 39, of the 800 block of Kilbourne Street in Elkhart, to two years probation and 180 days in Cass County Jail, with credit for two days already served. He was sentenced for charges of delivery of a controlled substance. Myers was also sentenced to 93 days in Cass County Jail, with credit for one day already served, for a domestic violence charge. His sentences will run concurrently.

According to the presentence investigation report, the charges stem from an incident that took place on July 29, 2017, in the 29000 block of E. Shore Drive in Edwardsburg. Myers is alleged to have pushed his girlfriend and the mother of his child. On Aug. 5 of the same year, his girlfriend called police, concerned that Myers would show up at the Edwardsburg residence. When officers arrived, they found marijuana, marijuana delivery paraphernalia and $14,000 cash in the bathroom of the residence.

Jason Allen Myers

Myers pleaded guilty to the charges at a court appearance on Dec. 8, 2017.

With a lack of detail in the presentence investigation report, the prosecution and defense viewed some of the details in the case differently.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said there was evidence to suggest that Myers was attempting to become a big-time drug dealer in the state of Michigan and that Myers was bringing in $45,000 to $50,000 a year through drug dealing.

“To have not been working and to make payments and live the sort of life he was living suggests he was not a small-time drug dealer,” Fitz said. “This is not the type of individual we want here in Cass County.”

Fitz also said that the domestic violence situation was much more serious than the pushing incident recorded in the presentence investigation report. Fitz said that according to statements from the victim, the abuse was ongoing and that Myers has continued to harass the victim even after his arrest and a personal protection order was placed against him.

“This is an entitled man,” Fitz said of Myers. “He is vindictive. … He doesn’t want to let her go, and he wants her to know that she does not have any control over him at all.”

To support his characterization of the relationship, Fitz read text messages Myers had sent to the victim to the court. The text messages contained explicit language where Myers threatened to beat the victim on multiple occasions. 

“This is a man from a good home. … His family that is here today has to be ashamed,” Fitz said of Myers’ actions. “A lot of the defendants we see here didn’t have the advantages this man had growing up. They didn’t have a mother or father. They didn’t have upbringing that he had. They had really nothing. [Myers] had all the advantages in the world. And what does he do with it? His dream was to become a big-time marijuana dealer in Michigan. … He beats the mother of his child.”

Myers’ lawyer said the extent of the domestic violence committed by Myers was limited to what was detailed in the presentence investigation report, calling Myer’s 10-year relationship with the mother of his child “toxic.”

Myers’ lawyer also disputed that Myers wanted to become a big-time drug dealer, saying instead that Myers wanted to become a medical marijuana caretaker, which is someone who provides marijuana to those who have medical needs for it. He also said that Myers had his own medical condition that he self-medicated with marijuana.

After hearing from both Fitz and Myers’ lawyer, Judge Herman said that because he does not have the benefit of a trial, he had to rely on information in the plea prior to sentencing.

“After hearing from attorney Fitz, I get a little bit of a different flavoring in this case than I had initially,” Herman said. “You don’t get the flavor from just the incident itself what was going on, but when I read the presentence report and I read [the victim’s] victim impact statement and the many attached text messages from [Myers], you put [the victim] and your son through many years of abuse.”

Herman noted that evidence suggested that Myers has anger issues, and ordered Myers to attend an anger management evaluation as part of his sentence. Herman also ordered Myers to have no contact, either directly or indirectly, with the victim.

“It’s time you learned there are some real consequences for your actions,” Herman told Myers Friday.

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